Is Radioactive Dating Valid

Is Radioactive Dating Valid - Is Radioactive Dating Valid?...

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Is Radioactive Dating Valid? The long ages (billions of years) given by radioactive dating of rocks seems an impossibly long time for some people. Since radioactive rocks have been observed for only a few decades, how do you know you can trust these long half-lifes and the long ages derived? Here are some points to consider: 1. The rate of decay should follow a simple exponential decline based on the simple theory of probability in statistics. This same probability theory is used to figure the odds of winning by gamblers. 2. An exponential decay is seen for short-lived isotopes with half-lives of only a few days. 3. For the decades they have been observed, the long-lived isotopes also follow an exponential decay. 4. The gamma ray frequencies and intensities produced by radioactive elements in supernova remnants change in the same predictable way as they do here on the Earth. One well-studied supernova remnant is SN1987A that is 169,000 light years away in a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. The predictions for the decay rates have turned out to
Background image of page 1
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 12/15/2011 for the course AST AST1002 taught by Professor Emilyhoward during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

Ask a homework question - tutors are online